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Mali seeks French help against extremists

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Mali's president is asking France for help to counter an advance by extremist and terrorist groups who are heading south.

France's U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud said it is urgent to act against the threat from the groups, which took control of northern Mali last year.

He said Mali's president sent a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a similar letter to French President Francois Hollande.

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